Status of the Long-Awaited Immigration Reform Bill

Remember a few months ago when we first laid our eyes on the 17-page blueprint of what would eventually become the highly anticipated immigration reform bill? I sure do. Many of the proposals on that blueprint seemed too good to be true, while others seemed, to put it nicely…outlandish! The immigration reform draft made changes to border security, to the allocation of visas, and to the path to citizenship. It also added new methods to employment verification. Under that blueprint, undocumented immigrants who came to the United States before December 31, 2011 would be able to apply for “provisional” legal status within six months and would be permitted to “work safely in the United States and visit their homelands.” The Bill would also permit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to have unregulated right of entry to all federal borderlands. Yikes!

A great deal of change was anticipated for the nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.

So where is that Bill now?

What Is The Status Of The Immigration Reform Bill?

Individuals who once adamantly fought for Immigration reform are now hesitating to back it up in its current form.

Senator Marco Rubio has been one of the key players in immigration reform and to the path to citizenship. He has vehemently defended immigration reform to other legislatures. However, according to Washington Post, “Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said earlier this week that, as the bill stands, he won’t vote for it.” He apparently even circulated a memo to other Senators that listed 21 things that made him apprehensive about the immigration reform bill.

Moreover, Sen. Jeff Flake feels that the immigration reform bill still “has a long way to go.”

What’s the Problem With the Bill?

The main problem with the bill at this point seems to be Border Security. Senator Rubio feels that if border security is not improved, then the bill will never become binding law. Another change that Senator Rubio wishes to see is the implementation of a biometric tracking system. A biometric tracking system is a procedure used to track illegal immigrants who overstay their visas by using identification methods such as fingerprints.

When is the Next Vote on the Immigration Reform Bill?

The Senate will consider the immigration reform bill next week.

A note to all of those who are in support of the Immigration reform bill in its current form: please don’t hold your breath. According to Republican chairman of the House judiciary committee, U.S. Representative, Bob Goodlatte, “There is an effort on the part of those Senators to improve the Senate bill, but it has a long way to go from the House perspective.”

Hopefully this immigration reform bill will become binding soon (but I’m not holding my breath).

What changes would you like to see in immigration reform? How will you feel if Congress does not pass the immigration reform bill?


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